Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What If It's All Just Noise?

It is possible that the GOP is nothing more than a noise making machine that sounds off when it is in the minority so that sounds off when it's in the minority then bows to rogues of the worst sort when in the majority.

If this is true then the GOP is leading our nation to ruin.

One pattern that I see repeating regularly is that people who are legitimately seeking to improve the world come in contact with the central political machine of the right. They become so despondent that they turn to any opposition to stand against the evils of the GOP.

For example, the political pundit David Brock was deeply disturbed by the Left wing attack machine that went after Clarence Thomas during his nomination for the Supreme Court. Mr. Brock was so disturbed that he researched the issue and wrote a book called "The Real Anita Hill" which called in to question the attack.

Right Wing thugs like Hannity and Limbaugh made so much noise about the book that Brock quickly discovered that his research on the Left Wing attack machine placed him squarely in the center of the same type of irrational attack machine on the Right.

Exposing the inner workings of a left wing attack machine was not leading to a better form of discourse. It simply fed fuel into a right wing noise machine. This noise machine was not seeking to better our society. The GOP was simply making noise machine to capture power for a corrupt centralized party and its cronies.

When the GOP use and abuse idealists like Brock and Huffington, the idealists viciously turn on their abusers.

Brock wrote a book called "The Republican Noise Machine" that argues that the GOP is as vacuous as the left wing attack machine that went after Clarence Thomas. Brock went on to create a progressive think take called Media Matters to expose the vicious partisanship that defines right wing media.

The observation that the Right is as bad as the Left is not surprising when one realizes that the Left and Right were produced by the same reactionary partisan forces.

The great left/right split which dominates politics came from the French Revolution. The Left sought to use big government to impose radical social change, while the right sought to preserve the class structure of the ancient regime.

Both sides (and the middle) of this reactionary movement were opposed to the American Experiment in Self Rule and the ideals of our founders.

In philosophy the term "modern" refers to anyone in the intellectual tradition of Immanuel Kant (1724-1804). Hegel 1770-1831 used Kant's work to create modern logic. Modern logic is a paradoxical way of thinking that denies the fundamental laws of classical logic. In his Philosophy of History, Hegel created a formula in which the pundit presents history as a series of conflicts with the pundit selectively presenting aspects of the conflict which advances the pundits partisan cause.

Hegel's Philosophy of History is essentially the business plan behind Fox News which presents news as a series of conflicts with an eye on framing its partisan cause as the champion.

Hegel loved word play games that framed slavery as freedom and freedom as slavery. The slave who lives in the castle lives like a king in the lap of luxury while the king is a slave to the demands of the state. Hegelian logic says that the ultimate freedom is found in slavery. Modern Liberalism, which holds that people will find ultimate freedom in a totalitarian state, flows from Hegel's Modern Logic.

The Radical Left, Reactionary Right and Dialectical Center all have the same reactionary movement in the 1800s. The Left/Right split comes from the French Revolution. Modern Liberalism (aka progressivism) and Modern Conservatism flow from Hegel's Modern Logic.

Read Hegel's Philosophy of History then watch Fox News. Fox News is Hegelian thought put into play.

Read Hegel's work on logic and you will find the foundations of the Democratic Party.

The Left and Right are from the same mold. The two sides of the coin are made of the same metal. Brock was upset about the attack machine on the left to find the same noise machine on the right. This happens because Conservatism and Progressivism are from the same mold.

Americans have lost the ability to engage in discourse not because of the noise, but because we have accepted a failed framework for discourse.

The Role of Noise

Noise is not, in itself, evil. When people are being abused by their government they need to make noise to seek redress.

Noise has its place in politics. When rational discourse breaks down, the disenfranchised must make noise.

Noise is not the problem. Things break down when there are no substantive issues behind the noise. In the case of Clarence Thomas, there was an attack machine that viciously attacked a Supreme Court nominee without substance.

The Health Reform debate has me livid. Health care reform is probably the single most important issue of our generation. My direct experience is that the GOP is happy to see people make anti-Obama noise. But that it puts down substantive talk about free market health care reform.

This formula of attacking Obama while actively suppressing talk about free market alternatives to PPACA creates a dynamic in which there are no adequate alternatives to PPACA on the table. Since there are no alternatives on the table, electing in members of the GOP will not provide us with a better system of care.

Making noise is not, in itself, evil. Quite frankly, noise is the only recourse for the disenfranchised. But, if there is no substance behind the noise and when the people making the noise simply have partisan desires for power, then the noise is nothing more than partisan nonsense destined to lead our nation down the wrong track.

The rhetorical question behind this post is: "Is it all just noise?"

Conservatives make a greate deal of noise about Obamacare but they actively suppress discussions of free market health care reform. Conservatives appear to be making noise with no interest in finding solutions. Since Modern Conservatism has the same origins as Modern Liberalism. I am led to concede that the GOP is nothing but a vacuous noise making machine.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Can Conservatism Save Us

In the last two years, my mind has been dominated by the question: "Can Modern Conservatism save us from the problems caused by Modern Progressivism?"

The answer, of course, is a resounding NO!

The US Founders had a Liberal Arts education steeped in classical logic and Christian ethics. They applied classical logic to the question of governance. They realized that government is a limiting force on people and that, by creating a Constitutionally limited central government, they could create an unlimited people.

Conservatism is a reactionary partisan ideology of the 1800s that accepted the framework of modern logic and co-evolved with Modern Liberalsim (also known as Progressivism).

Conservatives often trace their intellectual heritage to Plato, Machiavelli, Thomas Hobbes and Edmund Burke. (Edmund Burke was a member of the British Parliament.)

Yes, the current breed of Conservatives love playing on the image of the founders, but conservatism and the ideals of the US Founders are fundamentally different. 

It is impossible to restore the American Experiment in Self Rule by pursuing a path which is fundamentally at odds with the ideals of the US Founders.

Yes, Republicans love waving the Constitution, but I beg Republicans to tell me where the Republican Party appears in the Constitution!

It doesn't.

The great Left/Right divide that dominates all aspects of modern politics came in the generations after the Founders.

The Left/Right split of the French Revolution was one with a radical left seeking a fundamental change in the social order and the reactionary right seeking to preserve the class structure of the ancient regime.

This split led France to ruin.

Why is it that the GOP is so dedicated to this split?

The US Founders engaged in a rational discussion about the foundations of government.

Conservatism is a reactionary movement to preserve a class structure. The idea that a reactionary movement to impose a class structure will restore a rational argument about the role of governance is absurd.

Anyway, Conservatives trace their ideology to Plato, Machiavelli, 'Hobbes and Burke.  By following theses philosophies one ends up undermining the American Experiment in Self Rule.

People here wave the flag and promote the image of the US Founders but suppress rational discourse.

I spent six solid years with the goal of finding a conservative willing to discuss free market health care reform only to discover that Conservatives have no interest in preserving freedom.

I jokingly refer to Utah as the most conservative state West of Iran.

Conservatives here often profess a deep hatred for all things liberal. When I look to the Middle East, I fear that I am seeing the direction that Conservative ideology leads.

When I look at ISIS and Hamas, I see right wing religious zealots who hate and denounce the US and Israel as Liberal. Conservatives are partisans who hate liberals. Hamas and ISIS are conservative partisan groups lobbing missiles at Israel and beheading Christians because they see these groups as a Liberal threat.

Here in the US, loud screeching partisans pronounce a deep hatred for all things liberal then shove everyone aside in their grub at political power.

I live in the most conservative capitol west of Tehran. This notion that people denounced as liberal must be driven out of the community and the Conservative oligarchy must suppress political debate leads a free society to ruin.

Conservatives and their intent on restoring the class structure of the ancient regime leads to serfdom just as progressives with their faith in a totalitarian state leads to serfdom. Conservatives, who are seeking the restore the class structure of serfdom are actually taking a more direct road to serfdom than the progressives.

ISIS is a right wing group of religious zealots. ISIS and Hamas are shades of Conservatism.

The US Founders wanted to avoid the factions of Europe. This Left/Right split was an import of European factions. The Radical Left and Reactionary Right create a sounding board that magnify the troubles of the day and allow the formation of a ruling elite.

The Left/Right split amplifies conflict until people are divided into warring factions willing to follow strong leaders who will oppose their partisan opponent.

If we wish to restore the promise of America, we must reject this Left/Right split. Marching down the path of conservatism does not lead to freedom, it amplifies the split and leads to an entrenched class based society.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

Perception Filters and Absolutism

A guy is getting a large number of retweets with a banner saying:

"With all this 'gun control' talk I haven't heard one politician say how they plan to take guns from criminals, just law abiding citizens."

When I listen to the gun control debate, I hear people driven by a desire to keep guns out of criminal hands. The primary focus of many gun control laws is criminal background checks, certification classes and waiting periods designed specifically to keep guns out of criminal hands. There is a slew of criminal law and probation law aimed specifically at convicted criminals.

The guy posted this message and those retweeting it are all admitting to a perception filter.

One of the biggest problems in discourse today is that people neither listen to nor try to understand the arguments of others. We simply lump the people on the other side of the partisan divide into a single category, dismiss their arguments and deflect.

Personally, I think a large part of this problem came about because people trying to defend the American way stupidly accepted the label "conservative."

One of the synonyms of "conservative" is "closed-minded."

Americans have traditionally been one of the most open-minded and rational people on the planet. By trying to adapt to the image of "conservatism" people start acting in foolish ways.

There are people on the left who want an absolute ban on guns. These absolutists play the same game. They dismiss the arguments in favor of the second amendment. They project false images on their opponents and deflect any criticism of their poisition.

Yes, a person who is arguing for a gun ban is not arguing for a balanced system of gun control.  The person arguing for gun bans is arguing for a complete criminalization of gun ownership.

Undoubtedly, these absolutists are not engaged in open conversation. However, when we look back at the conservative banner we see a reactionary who used one absolutist position to justify another. The term "not one" is an an absolutist statement.

"With all this 'gun control' talk I haven't heard one politician say how they plan to take guns from criminals, just law abiding citizens."

I love this statement because it shows clearly how people hone their perception filters into absolutes.

I suspect that the people retweeted this post were so focused on showing the absolutism of their foes, they failed to see the absolute introduced into their tweet stream.

Unfortunately, the process of developing perception filters is inherent in the label "conservative."

I think that people who had learned logic and who were truly engaged in the defense of liberty, such as our nation's founders, would have caught this error. For this error is a grave error.

Our partisan perception filters ultimately destroy our ability to communicate allowing the political class to divide us into warring factions which invariably lets the worst in our society rise to the top.

Through the years I've realized that the most common form of absolutism is the projection of absolutism on others. If Peter projects absolutism on Paul, Peter is the absolutist, not Paul.

If I develop a perception filter where I see all your statements in absolutes, then I am the one who is bing the absolutist.

(OOPS: I lost track of the tweet with this banner. It was retweeted in my time line multiple times.)

Friday, August 01, 2014

On Divergent Philosophies

I see two distinct approaches to governance.

The straightforward approach starts with the simple question: What is the best way to govern a society?

A second approach begins when a group sees itself as a ruling class. The members of the ruling class then ask: "How do we rule over those people?"

This ruling class mentality creates an environment where the conversation taking place among the leaders diverges from the conversation taking place among the people. I will call this approach divergent politics.

I believe that the US Founders were sincerely engaged in a straightfoward about organizing society.

The US Founders had a Liberal Arts Education steeped in classical logic and Judeo/Christian ethics. They applied classical logic to the question of liberty and created a Federation of States with a Constitutionally limited central government.

I like to call the application of a classical education to liberty "Classical Liberal."

The founders despised the factions that controlled Europe. Oddly, the Left/Right split that dominates all aspects of American political actually came from the European factions the founders disliked.

Partisans seek power by dividing the people into warring factions.

In the French Revolution, the faction on the left sought radical social change while the faction on the right sought the preservation of the class structure of the ancient regime.

Partisans in the 1800s adopted a modern logic that denied the foundations of classical logic and created the extremely devisive forms of discourse that we see in politics today.

The invention of modern logic is a historical oddity. It just so happens that the Hanoverian Kings of England (King George I, II, III, etc.) were German. The Hanoverian Kings of England financed much of the German University system. After the US Revolution, the monarchy tasked the German University with finding ways to frame the monarchy as progressive. The universities responded by creating a new way of thinking called modern logic. This modern logic turns classical logic upside down. Modern logic presents paradoxical word games that framed freedom as slavery and slavery freedom.

Classical logic is the foundation of science. People put together syllogisms and see how well the syllogisms describe reality.

Modern logic is a bizarre system that places paradox at the foundation of reason and conflict at the surface. A fundamental premise of modern logic is that meaning of terms change with usage. This muffling of meaning is called "sublation." Terms often take on opposite meanings.

The classical liberal sought to limit government and empower individuals. Modern liberals sublated the term "liberal" and seek an unlimited government with regulated individuals.

I believe that both the left and right (progessive and conservative) are inherently divergent. Both the left and right have adopted modern logic as given.

Politicians on the left encourage rhetoric about unity, economic inequalities, and social justice. Once in power politicians divide people into warring factions. They then reward their friends and punish their enemies. In doing so the creates greater economic inequality and social injustice, but are able to skirt the issue by projecting their faults on the conservatives.

Politicians on the conservative right invoke images of the US founders and promote public talk about liberty and limited government. When in power, conservatives expand government in attempts to legislate morality then engage in the process of rewarding friends and punishing enemies.

Members of the Tea Party are perplexed in that the GOP keeps putting forward candidates such as Eric Cantor who come to power arguing for limited government. Once in power, Cantor became a defender of the machine.

This duplicity is inherent in "conservatism."

Remember, conservatism came from the French Revolution. The goal of conservatism was to preserve the class structure of the ancient regime. Modern logic was created by the monarchy. Conservatives adopted this bizarre modern logic as it allows conservatives to campaign on the image of the US Founders will supporting economic and political centralization.

I've been reading histories of the conservative movement. Intellectuals who self-indentify with "conservatism" tend to trace their beliefs to the likes of Leo Strauss, Edmund Burke, Thomas Hobbes, Machiavelli and Plato.

Thinkers like Hayek tend to identify with the classical liberal tradition.

The US Founders came before the left right split. They came before DeStutt de Tracy coined the term "ideology." The founders had a classical liberal arts education steeped in classical logic and Judeo/Christian ethics. They applied this education to the question of liberty and came up with a Federation of States with a constitutionally limited central government and protection of individual rights.

When one applies classical logic to the question of liberty one finds themself on a similar path as the founders.

The US Founders predated the Age of Ideology. I believe the best name for the path the founders followed is "classical liberal."

Modern Liberalism (progressivism) and Modern Conservatism are partisan ideologies that developed in the generations after the founders.

The partisans who create these grand political philosophies were seeking to rise to power by dividing people into factions.

Both the Left and Right developed divergent philosophies. Politicians on both the left and right have developed systems in which they say onething to get power then work on consolidating power once in power.

It is the modern logic at the heart of modern conservatism that created the dynamics of the modern GOP which holds a divergent philosophy in which members of the GOP campaign on the image of the founders (Classical Liberals) then impose the leviathan of Thomas Hobbes once in power.

If you are looking for people who are sincere about restoring the American Experiment in Self Rule, you will not find them in conservatism, because the underlying divergent philosophy of conservatism will always undermine efforts to restore the classical liberal ideals of the founders.

The duplicity of Conservatism is not surprising. Both Modern Conservatism and Progressivism (Modern Liberalism) are partisan ideologies that came from Europe and are based on a corrupt system of modern logic that was created with the express intent of framing the monarchy as progressive.

The goal of these partisan ideologies is to rise to power by dividing people into factions. Both sides of this false dichotomy seek political and economic centralization. Both sides of the partisan divide have narratives which diverge from their policies.

Both Modern Liberalism and Modern Conservatism accept modern logic as their foundations.

The two sides of a coin are made of the same metal. Because of the nature of conservatism it is incapable of breaking us out of the malaise created by Obama and the Modern Liberals and Modern Progressives.

Don;t you get it? The Left/Right split came from European intellectuals. The Left reached its ultimate expression with Communism and the right with Fascism. The end result of both the left and the right are the same.

You will not find the path to restoring America by reading Leo Strauss, Edmund Burke, Thomas Hobbes, Machiavelli or even Plato.

We could restore America if people were to apply classical logic to the question of liberty as was done by the US Founders (aka classical liberalism).

Unfortunately, this conversation cannot take place in the ranks of the GOP because Conservatives believe they must drive classical liberals (Hayek, et al) out of the party.

Conservatism is a reactionary ideology of the 1800s that seeks to restore the class structure of the ancient regime while playing on the image US Founders. Modern Cosnervatism, as the name implies, flows from Modern Logic. It is inherently divergent. If we want to restore America, we need to engage in the straightforward conversation that comes by applying classical logic to the question of liberty.